November 30 Talk: The James Webb Space Telescope - Andrew Fraknoi

30 Nov 2022 2:57 PM | Scott Miller (Administrator)

The James Webb Space Telescope: Our Giant Eye on the Invisible Sky 

A nontechnical, illustrated talk by Andrew Fraknoi 

Wednesday, Nov. 30, 5:30 pm 

(You can participate either in person or on-line)

At the Commonwealth Club of California 

Rock Auditorium, 110 The Embarcadero, San Francisco  

Tickets and information at: 


You do NOT need to be a member of the Club to attend! 


The early images from the James Webb Space Telescope have been applauded by scientists, the media, and the public.  But there is far more to our expectations from this remarkable space instrument than just pretty pictures.  In this introductory talk, astronomer and educator Andrew Fraknoi explains what makes the Webb a truly pioneering instrument, what the early images actually show, and what scientists expect the telescope to accomplish in years to come.  In the process, he discusses how the Webb observes an “invisible universe” of infrared rays, and what astronomers are hoping to learn from it about “cosmic evolution” -- the birth and death of stars, planets, and galaxies.  No background in science is required to understand this program. 

Andrew Fraknoi teaches astronomy and physics at the Fromm Institute at the University of San Francisco and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at SF State University.  He is the lead author of the most frequently used introductory astronomy textbook in the country, Astronomy, published online by the nonprofit OpenStax project. See: for more information about his work.